Peshawar, largest reservoir of polio in world: WHO

Jan 18, 2014 18:10 IST

Peshawar in Pakistan had the largest number of polio cases in the world in 2013. This was revealed by World Health Organisation (WHO) in a global analysis for polio cases on 17 January 2014.

imageThe analysis by World Health Organisation (WHO) further said that Pakistan is the only polio-endemic country which reported more polio cases in 2013 than in 2012. Pakistan reported 83 cases in 2013 compared to 58 cases in 2012. In 2013, 369 cases were reported worldwide.

In Pakistan, 59 cases were from Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), 10 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and seven each from Punjab and Sindh.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, of which Peshawar is the capital and adjoining tribal districts, has been found to be the polio hotspot in Pakistan.

All the polio cases reported from Pakistan are type-1 cases. No report of type-3 polio cases has been reported from Pakistan.

The analysis by WHO suggested that viruses from Toba Tek Singh, Sahiwal, Lahore and Multan are closely related with each other. This reflects a common source of outbreak because of a significant immunity gap in the central region of Punjab.

As a result, the most immediate epidemiological challenge is to control this transmission in the region. At the same time, building super high immunity in southern districts of the province is needed to reverse previous trends of transmission moving to the south after the central region outbreak.

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